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ARTH 2101-D230 Healing the Body: The Visual Culture of Medicine
Fall 2015


This course is team-taught by three professors from three different departments. It is critical that you attend every lecture to gain the most benefit from the course. Please pay careful attention to the schedule.

Professors: Sandra Cheng, Gwen Cohen Brown, Aida Egues (see below for Contact Info)
Class Time/Location: Tuesday 2:30 pm – 5 pm, Pearl 503 (3 credits)

Prerequisite: ENG 1101

*Syllabus is subject to change.

Course Description:       This interdisciplinary course examines the imagery of medical practice, the role of visuality in shaping medical knowledge, artistic representations of the healthy and ailing body, and the emergence and increasing dependence on visual technologies. The course is designed as a lecture course of three modules that focus on the medical body, disease and illness, and treatment and healing. Students will acquire skills to better analyze images, and will attain greater awareness of variables in cultural values that underlie medical practice across history.

Required Readings:       M. Samuels and M. Rockwood Lane, Healing with the Arts: A 12-Week Program to Heal Yourself and Your Community. New York: Atria, 2013 (this text is for the last 5 weeks of class), plus online reader. Articles and excerpts are located under “Readings” on the class website

Recommended: Purchase or access to Plague Inc. app

Learning Outcomes:

Students will,

  • connect and integrate across-discipline knowledge between the humanities and medicine; and learn and apply cross-disciplinary skills to solve problems
  • synthesize and transfer knowledge across disciplinary boundaries through the lens of morality, ethics, socio-economic factors, cultural bias, and changing environment
  • collaborate on team project and presentation
  • learn the analytical techniques used by art historians and health professionals
  • enhance their visual literacy and critical thinking skills

Class Expectations:        Look and think about what you’re looking at!
Students are responsible for the learning and analyzing the images, concepts, and information presented in lecture and assigned readings.

Contact Info for Professor Sandra Cheng (module 1: Weeks 1-5)

Office Hours: Mon 10:00-11:00 am, Tu/Th 9:00-10:00 am, by appointment
Office: Namm 602B
Email: (best way to contact me)
Phone: 718-260-5003 (not a good way to contact me)

Contact Info for Professor Gwen Cohen Brown (module 2: Weeks 6-10)                                 

Office Hours: Monday 5:30 – 6:30 pm, Tuesday 12:00 – 1:00 pm, and by appointment
Office: Pearl 201
Email: (best way to contact me)
Phone: 718-260-5070 (not a good way to contact me)

Contact Info for Professor Aida Egues (module 3: Weeks 11-15)   

Office Hours: Wed 4:10-6:10 pm, and by appointment
Office: Pearl 505
Phone: 718-260-4918

Website:  You must access the class website by logging into CityTech’s OpenLab via /. Instructions on how to signup are on the OpenLab homepage. To access the OpenLab, you will need to register with your CityTech email account (if you have not activated your CityTech email, you need to go to a student helpdesk—6th Floor Computer Lab in the General Building). Once you register on the OpenLab, locate our course (Humanities Department, Fall 2015).

Readings for the lectures will be posted online.  Go to the Readings tab on the class website. The readings are password-protected (passwords will be provided in class).


Short Paper Assignments                                                      40%
Homework                                                                               30%
Group Project: Presentation and Final Paper                         30%

PLEASE NOTE:  Failure to turn in a paper or submit an exam/assignment will result in a zero (0).

Class participation will be considered in determining final grades.

Writing Assignments: Students are required to write short papers or essays through out the course. Information on required papers will be given on the class website

Group Presentation and Project: Students will be assigned a group to work on a small project. Each group will present their findings in a 15-min presentation. Information on the required project will be given in separate handout.

Homework: Your homework consists of submitting blog posts and comments on the class website. Your instructors will post a Homework Topic for you to post on and comment on. Instructions on how to post are located online under Blogging Guidelines. Participation on the blog is mandatory.

Attendance:  Students are expected to attend all classes. More than 2 absences will result in course failure.  Excessive lateness will affect your grade.  Three late marks equal one absence.

Plagiarism and Cheating: Presenting work by others as your own is completely unacceptable.  Plagiarism includes using material from books or the Internet without acknowledging the source as well as submitting something written by someone else.  Either will result in a 0 (zero) for that particular assignment/exam. A second instance will result in an automatic F for the course.

Decorum:  Please turn off your cell phones, beepers, alarms, etc. and no sleeping, internet surfing, txt msgs while in lecture.

New York City College of Technology Policy on Academic Integrity:
Students and all others who work with information, ideas, texts, images, music, inventions, and other intellectual property owe their audience and sources accuracy and honesty in using, crediting, and citing sources. As a community of intellectual and professional workers, the College recognizes its responsibility for providing instruction in information literacy and academic integrity, offering models of good practice, and responding vigilantly and appropriately to infractions of academic integrity. Accordingly, academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York and at New York City College of Technology and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension, and expulsion.


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